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July 28, 1973 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily, 1973-07-28

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Summer Daily
Summer Edition of
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Edited and managed by students at the
University of Michigan
Sattirday, July 28, 1973 News Phone: 764-0552
Gay tactics poor
" AG!" "QUEER!" AND "FAIRY!"-all derogatory terms
for gay people - have been joined by cries of "Intol-
erant!" on this campus ..,.and with good reason. When
'ocal gay males unsuccessfully attempted to stop the An-
gell Hall showing of The Boys in the Band Thursday night,
they, in effect, proclaimed themselves as censors and
alienated the audience whose consciousness needed rais-
ing.
The gay people rightly assert that the film portrays
homosexuals as stereotypical neurotic, unhappy people.
Doane Mrohs, the film co-op's business manager, and a
number of movie viewers agreed with the gays' position
b.it maintained that the public had a right to see the film,
However, gay protesters felt justified in banning the
*novie, citing past cases on campus of blacks having stop-
ped screenings of Birth of a Nation. This censorship in the
name of a political cause destroys the concept of free pub-
lic media access.
IN FACT, THE SCREENING of such a biased film could
be used to actually further gays' attempts at con-
vincing the public that homosexuality can be a healthy,
loving way of life. As one of the gay demonstrators, Steph-
en Miller noted, "There's nothing that exhibits gay people
as healthy people in this society."
In the future, we hope gay men or women will give a
short, pre-arranged rap before an offending film-as they
did before the second showing of The Boys in the Band-
instead of inviting a police confrontation and losing all
the audience's interest.
A few well-chosen words can put the viewers on guard
against any film's bias. Furthermore, an invitation to talk
with gay people after the film, as extended Thursday
night, could probably provoke some open discussion with
the viewers, who would normally talk about the film
among only themselves.
ALTHOUGH one gay demonstrator condemned an audi-
ence member for her "liberal tokenistic bullshit"
sympathy, it is precisely the "sympathy" of heterosexuals,
not censorship tactics, that gay people must start using
to create an unoppressive atmosphere for themselves.

Nixon's 'bag of tricks' exhausted

T TP TO THAT moment when President Nixon
formally issued his flat refusal to release
the crucial White House tapes and documents,
there was persistent expectation in many places
that he would come up with an ingenious political
formula to confound his critics and rejuvenate his
fans.
In part that is because so much of his
Presidency has been characterized by his delight
in staging the big surprise. Sometimes the pro-
duction was tinged with fraud (as in the pre-
mature Kissinger "peace is at hand" proclama-
tion). But on the other occasions, such as the
announcement of his mission to Peking and the
wage-price freeze of August, 1970, the spectators
at least temporarily disarmed and awed many of
his adversaries.
Thus, despite the earlier political setbacks
he had suffered, and especially what seemed his
fatal setback in California in 1962, a mythology of
invincibility began to surround the man. His
1972 landslide triumph perpetuated the legend.
AND SO, in recent days, when Mr. Nixon
appeared entrapped by the unexpected Butterfield
disclosure of the existence of the secret tapes, one
heard - and to some degree shared - the pro-
phecy that he would somehow engineer another
coup. There were some who speculated that he.
had deliberately stalled release of the tapes
to achieve maximum dramatic impact; o n e
thoughtful man I know wondered if the Butter-
field tip-off had been elaborately contrived to
provide a pretext for baring the tapes.
Middle-aged baseball scholars will recall the
fabled Charley Dressen, a manager possessed of
vast self-esteem, who was reported to have told
his players during a game in which they had
fallen far behind: "You guys just hang in there
and I'll think of something."
But this time Richard Nixon could think of
nothing.
Of course, he may still be telling what re-
mains of his team that the ball game isn't over
yet; yesterday's grim pronouncement, however,

had the unmistakable aspect of anticlimax. It
conformed to all the advance leaks (except per-
haps, that Mr. Nixon rendered his position even
more vulnerable by simultaneously vowing to
withhold his, archives from special prosecutor Cox
as well as the Ervin Committee).
The statement defied the hopes and pleas of
those who retained large emotional investments
in him. In was a heavy-handed admission that he
had exhausted his bag of tricks. The tones of
self-righteousness could hardly hide the barren-
ness of ideas.
IN HIS PRESENT POSTURE, Mr. Nixon can
only be fighting for time, the law's delay or per-
haps some unforeseeable miracle or accident of
history that will divert public attention. Even
victory in the legal tests now pending would
be a dubious triumph; he would still stand con-
victed by most Americans of smothering truth to
protect himself.
He may wistfully hope that mass boredom
will set in if the court proceedings are protract-
ed. But each time he has boasted that the worst
was over, he has discovered - in what are sup-
posed to be his own words - that "there seems
to be no end to it."
Mr. Nixon has suggested that continuation of
the conflict will undermine his foreign-policy ini-
tiatives. But few Americans are likely to believe
that the concept of self-interest governing the
policy of accommodation in Moscow and Pe-
king would suddenly change if Richard Nixon
were not in the Oval office.
MR. NIXON'S latest words were those of a
cornered man whose resources of political games-
manship could no longer save him. And chat is
the most ominous aspect of the spectacle. What
manner of man will be in this endless night of
isolation and frustration that comes less than
nine months after the glory day of last Novem-
ber?
James Wechsler is editorial director of New
York Post. Copyright New York Post Corpora-
tion 1973.

Black Africans seek own identity

By LARRY HEINZERLING
LAGOS, Nigeria - A move is
sweeping fledgling African nations
to purge themselves of the colonial
past and forge a cultural and na-
tional identity.
In line with the growing move-

A NEG!nO RENAISSANCE IN THE MAKING
Many black Africans are
determined to erase -
the last vestiges of(
their colonial past and
forge a national image 1
Leopold Senghor Mobutu Sese Seko Sekou Toure

ment, leaders in Nigeria, Africa's
most populous nation, plan to stage
the second World Slack Festival of
the Arts and Culture in January
1975. And turn this former British
colony into a cradle of a black re-
naissance.
President Mobutu Sese S e k o
of Zaire, the former Belgian Congo,
calls the movement a "return to
authenticity." And Leopold Seng-
hor, poet-president of Senegal, has
espoused the philosophy of "negri-
tude."
SEKOU TOURE, Guinea's Marx-
ist president, recently demanded in
a radio broadcast that French be
dropped as his country's official
tongue.
"It's ridiculous to call a country
English-speaking or French-speak-
ing when only 10 per cent or 20
per cent understand English or
French," he said.
It was ironic, however, that
Toure had to voice his complaint
in French because more people
in and out of Guinea understand
that language than any tribal
tongue he might have used.
FOR MOST black Africans, rais-
ed in remote bush villages and
brought up in traditional ways,
life today is much as it has al-
ways been. The invasion of the
transistor radio, factory-made pots
and electricity into mud-hut homes,
appears to have had little impact
on the ancient customs and rituals
surrounding birth, marriage and
death.
Some African leaders are wag-

ing war on foreign influences. In
Zaire, it is illegal to use western
names and leaders in a number of
countries have clamped a ban on
hot pants and miniskirts. In black
countries where television is a
growing phenomenom, some view-
ers complain about the many pro-
grams imported from the United
States, Britain and France.
Wigs, a popular item with fash-
ian-conscious women, particularly
in Ghana and Nigeria, have spark-
ed many objections. Others are up-
set over billboards and advertising
in movie theaters and on radio
and television for skin lighteners
which are selling briskly in the
Some African lead-
ers are waging war on
foreign influences.
local markets.
In Conakry, capital of Guinea,
President Toure has turned a
monument built to honor Guineans
who died fighting for the Ffench
in Indochina and Algeria in Indo-
china and Algeria into a monument
in honor of "the martyrs of colon-
ialism."
AND LITTLE GAMBIA h as
changed the name of its capital
from Bathurst to Banjul.
Larry Heinzerling is an Asso-
ciated Press feature writer.

Atlantic 1
Ocean ..e ' o
Movements represent a resurgence
of the nationalism that
brought down so many
colonial flags-in the 1960s
AP newsd

Contact your reps-
Sen. Phillip Hart (Dem), Rm 253, Old Senate Bldg., Capitol
Hill, Washington, D.C. 20515.
Sen. Robert Griffin (Rep), Rm 353, Old Senate Bldg., Capitol
Hill, Washington, D.C. 20515.
Rep. Marvin Esch (Rep), Rm. 412, Cannon Bldg., Capitol
Hill, Washington, D.C. 20115.
Sen. Gilbert Bursley (Rep), Senate, State Capitol Bldg.,
Lansing, Mi. 48933.
Rep. Perry Bullard (Dem), House of Representatives, State
Capitol Bldg., Lansing, Mi. 48933.

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